Faith Life, March 2017

Day by Day: Life, Liberty, and Joy.

Day by Day: Life, Liberty, and Joy.

An excerpt from the 90-day devotional book by Trailon D. Johnson

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

St. Augustine of Hippo once penned, “Our hearts are restless until they find rest in thee.” Or as Jeremiah asserts, the heart is desperately sick because it is so deceitful. The purpose of this book is to offer God’s “prescription” for healing our sick hearts—his Holy word. Only by reading and applying God’s word are we able to receive healing while striving to become more like Jesus. A closer look at this amazing organ, the heart, yields deep insights when viewed through the lens of God’s precious pearls of wisdom.

The heart is one of the most vital and essential organs of the human body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 610,000 people die every year due to heart disease. More specifically, one in every four deaths is attributed to heart disease. In fact, heart disease is recorded as the leading cause of death in both men and women. This is an epidemic, not only from a medical standpoint, but also from a spiritual perspective.

Our world is plagued with spiritual heart disease; people suffer, barely holding on to life. Many carry the title “Christian” but live in bondage to sin, unsure of how to obtain the authentic, life-altering freedom found only in Christ. Some people live with heart blockages, such as holding on to past hurts, pains, regrets, neglecting purity and living in bondage to a culture steeped in moral relativism.

As a result, our identities, marriages, relationships, and our churches are struggling to survive and are in critical condition. When living in this manner with sin as our master, we are prone to a spiritual heart attack, and this type of lifestyle will eventually become detrimental to our walk with the Lord.

One of the biggest challenges facing our world is narcissism. There is a constant drive and pursuit of OUR dreams, desires, and passions fueled by feelings that can deceive. This daily pursuit of “happiness,” can lead to the loss of life, liberty and joy found only in Jesus Christ. When you live with this truth, the ultimate goal is not to produce an existential reality, but to put your life in the hands of the one who created you in his image and likeness (Gen. 1:26-27). Life demands so much from us, but becoming too busy “doing” leads to a failure to “be.”

However, there is good news: when you turn your life over to Christ and submit to his word, he takes the scalpel and becomes your heart surgeon. He performs open heart surgery and begins to circumcise your heart and remove the blockages so that it can function the way God designed. Finding rest for our souls is essential, and that can happen only when we walk daily with Jesus. The prophet Jeremiah says, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls’” (Jer 6:16). It is my prayer that this daily devotional will serve as a supplement to your daily intake of God’s word; moreover, may it be the springboard that propels you to hunger for God’s word and, consequently, to live a fruitful life for the glory of God.

“Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn.” (Deuteronomy 10:15-16)

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